Starts Hear is powered by Hearing First.

Our mission is to support families who seek a listening and spoken language outcome for their child who is deaf or hard of hearing so they can reach their full potential. Today, children who are deaf or hard of hearing can learn to listen and talk, but the first days, weeks, and months of a baby's life are critical.

Learn more about Hearing First
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The Starts Hear campaign was created to raise awareness of the importance of newborn hearing.

Hearing is critical to your baby's brain development and builds a foundation for learning, spoken language, and literacy.

Your baby will have a Newborn Hearing Screening (NHS) at birth.

Follow-up is urgent, if your baby fails the NHS.

happy baby

Year Two Results

Campaign Results
In the two years since the campaign started, the numbers prove the campaign is working to increase awareness! More new and expectant parents are aware of the newborn hearing screening (NHS), why hearing is important, and what to do following a failed NHS. Download the year two report and watch the accompanying video to learn more by clicking the button below. See the Impact!

Starts Hear Partners

Audiology Logo Baby Center Logo Brazelton Touchpoints Center
Bright By Text Logo Reach Out And Read Thirty Million Words Logo
What To Expect Logo Zero To Three Logo

Frequently asked questions.

Why is there a Starts Hear campaign?

Most babies born with hearing loss are born to hearing parents. Because of this, most families have never thought of hearing loss and are unprepared for the results of the NHS.

The Starts Hear campaign raises awareness of expectant parents on the importance of hearing and prepares them for the NHS. Parents will be empowered to know the results of the NHS and to follow-up quickly when needed so their children can reach their full potential.

Who is behind the campaign?

Starts Hear is powered by Hearing First.

Hearing First is a subsidiary of the Oberkotter Foundation, a private foundation supporting opportunities for children who are deaf or hard of hearing to learn to listen and talk for over 35 years. Because we've met the babies and talked with their families; watched them grow up and make friends in mainstream schools; and seen them succeed, we know that Listening and Spoken Language (LSL) is possible for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Who do I contact with questions?

For questions or comments about Starts Hear, please email

How do I get involved?

You can share the campaign message to raise awareness of the NHS and the importance of hearing for early brain development. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Follow Hearing First on social media and share campaign posts with your community
  • Tell your expecting friends and family about so they can learn more about the NHS